Ing. Milena Blatná

* 1934  

  • “As I already said, they arrested almost everyone at once, and my husband was in Most, so they arrested him at the end of September. The people [they arrested] were then held in custody. Some in Příční Street in Brno, some in Orlí. But they were just held in a cell there. Then when the questioning ended, they would take them to the prison in Znojmo. My husband always said how terrible an experience that was. Because their eyes were blindfolded, they were handcuffed, and they were constantly thrown around by the shaking of the vehicle. They didn’t know which way they were going or where, so that was very unpleasant. This happened over the course of 1949, and the trials weren’t held until 1951. First, there was the trial with the main group, with Petr Křivka. They already knew he was facing a possible death penalty. So then they threatened everyone with the death penalty. And the situation was, back then, that it didn’t matter at all what the punishment would be, as long as it wasn’t that terminal punishment. Because it was generally believed that no one would actually serve those long sentences, that it would last a year or two tops. Well, unfortunately, it lasted a bit longer than that, but the main fear was of the death penalty.”

  • “I don’t know if the whole thing had been a provocation. But I think not, that they just hit at him, and he said who he’d got it from. And then they came to me. Luckily, I was aware of who they were and what was going on, so I was able to prepare myself. I told them straight up that, yes, I knew his wife, so I [had brought] it to him. But that I didn’t understand what was going on. I brought him a slice of bread, so what’s the big deal. But they immediately started threatening me with claims that it could be interpreted as aiding an escape. So that’s what they threatened me with, but they gave me three days to think things through, that it could be worked out if I signed a collaboration agreement. That I’d simply give them reports about people. So they gave me the three days to think about it. I took them, but I was convinced from the outset that I wouldn’t do it. That I can’t do it. Because I had ingrained within me from when I was a child in the war, that this just isn’t done. That it’s unacceptable and out of the question.”

  • “When word came that an economic inspection was on the way, everyone quickly chased the hens out so they couldn’t be counted. They’d hide a pig, a hog or so. See, the way it was usually done was that when they had a slaughter, they slaughtered two pigs. One was done illegally, the other was official. Well, and this all had to be hidden away when the inspection arrived. It’s beyond our comprehension today. But later on I myself made a friend at Sokol whose mum had been executed by the Germans for the sole reason that there had been some problem with slaughters there. She was the widow of a butcher. She had an apprentice there, and something got out. And they really did execute her, during the Protectorate. Marcela [the friend] was fourteen at the time.”

  • "I was taken right from the shaft in Jáchymov to the StB (Secret state police). I was carrying three letters that day so I was frightened to death. I was carrying these letters under my girdle. A female prison officer came to conduct a personal search. She scanned my torso with her hands and said: “what’s this?” I responded: “It’s my girdle”. She then left me and I later went to the toilet where I disposed of these letters. So I was luck, they didn’t find anything.”

  • "This mine looks as follows: it’s surrounded by wire and there’re guard towers everywhere. There’s a gatehouse where they would check your identity very rigorously. You wouldn’t be granted entrance without an ID card. So it actually was a completely sealed off area. Inside, however, there was already much greater freedom. Civilians worked next to prisoners so you could move around rather freely. I met a lot of people there.”

  • "There existed something like a correspondence permission. Every half a year you would be granted to send a letter, sometimes it even took longer then half a year. The whole undertaking was very problematic, indeed, so not only didn’t they have food or clothing, they even didn’t have any contact to their families.”

  • "Right in the year 1948 the police arrested everyone whom we deemed decent and good, whom we had been seeing on a regular basis all the time before. All of a sudden the police showed up at their place and they had to go. We had an acquaintance … there even was a public trial and everyone knew how the interrogations were pursued, it was all known to everybody. That’s what I said in 1955, when there was a slight revival of public life that I just didn’t get how some people could claim they hadn’t known what happened and so on. That was inconceivable, everybody must in all probability have known.”

  • "So roughly since mid-March (1953) till the end of April we saw each other every now and then but although you could see that there’s some interest, I didn’t really believe it… I left the night shift on the first of May and they came in the morning for their morning shift and as was carrying something to the workshop we met there. So that’s when I got the first kiss, and it was right on the May the 1st.”

  • "It was more like a correspondence relationship but there were quite a few people who were helping us. They would, for example, call him (Jiří Blatný) to the floor, that there’s a broken machine and that he has to fix it. One friend I’m seeing till today would always call Jiří up to repair that machine and in this way we could be together. But this only worked because there really was freedom.”

  • "I really can’t say they didn’t behave properly. They worked there and appreciated that they got this job because it probably was a fantastic deal for them to get this job here. They probably had a motivation to behave well. It was worse off for those in the shaft of course… The chief of the shaft was always a Russian. That was worse as these people were a wholly different kind of people then those in the offices for example. In the offices you would find geologists for example, they were already a bit more educated people. They had ten years of formal education and when they learned that I had twelve and that properly, I should have had thirteen, they were thoroughly surprised.”

  • "It was a sealed off area, which means nobody could actually leave. So inside this sealed off area, there was some contact, but there were tight security provisions with the purpose of preventing for example a letter to be passed out or some things to be smuggled in. That was the purpose of these rigorous checks at the gatehouse. They could check even the civilian employees – for example what they were carrying in their bag or clothes. A successful revelation was mostly due to a report of an informant.”

  • Full recordings
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    Brno, 12.05.2006

    (audio)
    duration: 02:07:00
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Brno, 30.04.2014

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    duration: 01:09:46
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 3

    Brno, 23.07.2020

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    duration: 03:17:41
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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What else was horrible - everyone thought, that the end has been nearby. I came from outside, so I couldn’t believe in it

Milena Blatná, née Hypšová
Milena Blatná, née Hypšová
photo: cropped photo

  Milena Blatná was born on October 10, 1934 in a family of a school principal František Hypš and his wife Marie, maiden name Košumberská. The family lives in Jitkov on Czech and Moravian Highlands (Vysočina) from her early childhood, they moved to Kadaň in 1946. Milena finished high school in 1952 and she wanted to continue on university. She decided to earn money by herself not to financial burden her widowed mother. She started to work in Jáchymov mine, first in office, and then in shaft. She met there lots of political prisoners, whom helped as intermediary with outside world - she bore them food, letters and helped them to keep in touch with theirs home. One of them was her later husband Jiří Blatný (1929-2003), condemned to 13 years for a high treason and espionage in a lawsuit against group of university students. He was released in 1958 and shorter after that they married. Milena Blatná completed the University of Economics in 1954-58.